Florida is a “no fault” divorce State. This means that the party filing the case need only attest to the fact that their marriage is irretrievably broken to obtain a divorce. This also means that the Court will only consider the reasons (the issue of adultery, for example) for the breakdown of the marriage in very limited circumstances. A divorce can be uncontested or contested. A case is contested when the parties cannot agree upon how the issues in the case should be resolved. These issues may be related to the distribution of assets and debts and/or the children. If the divorcing spouses cannot come to an agreement, it then becomes necessary to bring the matter before the Court, where a Judge will determine the issues for them.
When divorcing couples are in agreement over the terms of a divorce, they can submit the appropriate documents to the court for approval. Even though an uncontested divorce is simpler than a contested divorce, it is still important that the legal steps be handled with care and attention to detail. A misstep could prove very costly to a particularly party- particularly if they do not know what they are entitled to.
CONTEMPT & ENFORCEMENT
There may come a time following your divorce, paternity, or support matter when you need to enforce the provisions contained in your Final Judgment or Settlement Agreement due to a failure on the part of the other party in holding up his or her end of the bargain or doing as ordered. Whether the issue is a party’s failure to pay child support or alimony or the failure to transfer assets awarded or pay debts allocated, we stand ready to enforce your Judgment. Call us today to discuss the various remedies for enforcement under Florida Law.
MODIFICATION OF AGREEMENTS & FINAL JUDGMENTS
There may come a time following your divorce, paternity, or support matter when the terms of your agreement and/or final judgment will need adjusting to accommodate the changes that life can sometimes throw your way. Whether it be a change of the current time-sharing schedule or an increase or decrease in child support and/or alimony, a modification may be the best solution if you can demonstrate a substantial change in circumstances that would justify such a modification. Here at Turner Family Law, we pride ourselves on knowing exactly what is needed to accomplish such modifications and stand ready to help you achieve the most favorable outcome.
The term “Domestic Violence” covers many different situations for which a person may need the protection of the Court and authorities. These can includes but not be limited to stalking, dating violence, physical violence, repeat violence, sexual violence, or emotional abuse. Often times, allegations of domestic violence may arise in different areas – such as in a divorce or paternity case. If you find yourself involved in an incident of domestic violence, whether as the accused or accuser, we can will take legal action to protect you, your family, and your rights. We can defend you if you are being accused of violence and we can represent those who have been a victim of abuse (including children).
The term “Custody” is no longer used in Florida. Now, “custody” is known as “Time-Sharing”- an issue almost always applicable in cases involving Children. The most contested issue in family law cases is how and when each Parent will share time with their children during and after their court proceeding. Florida Law requires Parents to enter into a “Parenting Plan” setting forth each Parent’s rights and responsibilities over their Children, as well as a comprehensive time-sharing schedule that addresses on-going time, time-sharing over holidays and special days, and other issue such as vacation time, schooling, and communication. If the Parties are unable to agree to a Parenting Plan, the Judge will ultimately determine a Plan that will be in the Children’s best interests after
considering various factors under Florida Law. These factors include, but are not limited to, determining each Parent’s ability to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing parent-child relationship, to honor any time-sharing schedule created, to be reasonable when changes are required, to provide a safe and stable routine and accommodations for the Children, and to communicate effectively with the other parent about the needs of the Children. Other factors include determining each Parent’s capacity to determine, consider, and act upon the needs of the children as opposed to the needs or desires of the parent. At Turner Family Law, we are skilled in preparing and negotiating Parenting Plans that fit our clients’ family dynamic, with a strong emphasize on protecting clients’ rights and the rights of their children. We are also skilled in litigating the issues of parental responsibility and time-sharing, should litigation be necessary.
CHILD SUPPORT & ALIMONY
During and after a divorce, many people are concerned about being able to support themselves and their children. Many people enjoy a certain standard of living during their marriage that may be difficult to maintain during and after their divorce proceedings without the financial assistance the other spouse. In Florida, child support is based upon each parent’s income and any child related expenses that may be applicable, such as health insurance, childcare, and extracurricular activities. Calculating the proper amount for child support can be difficult when a spouse is self-employed, voluntarily underemployed or unemployed. Each parent’s duty to support their children is not something that can be waived by agreement and the Court vigorously enforces Children’s rights to be financially support by their parents.
A spouse may further also be in need of the financial support of the other spouse during and after a divorce proceeding. In Florida, the award of spousal support, also known as “alimony,” is based upon one spouse’s need for financial assistance and the other spouse’s financial ability to provide that support. In determining if alimony is appropriate, whether it be for a temporary, durational, or permanent period of time, the Court will consider a variety of factors including, but not limited to, the length of the marriage, the incomes of each Party, the lifestyle maintained by the Parties during their marriage, and each Party’s present financial circumstances, including all available financial resources, among other factors. It’s best to have an experienced attorney on your side to help properly determine your needs and abilities and the financial needs of your Children.
When a child is born out of wedlock, Florida Law grants the Mother the authority over all aspects of the Child’s life until the Father’s parental rights can be established by Court Order. This is still the case even though a Father’s name may be on the Child’s birth certificate. Until the Father establishes paternity, parental responsibility, and a parenting plan, the Mother alone has the right to make any and all decisions regarding the best interests and welfare of the child, which might include but not be limited to, medical care, education, religious practice, traveling or relocating out of the State or Country, to name a few. It is imperative that an unmarried Father establish his paternity of the child or children so that he will be able to participate in their upbringing and share time with them in a continuous and routine fashion.
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If you need real solutions in a divorce or any other family law matter, you can trust Turner Family Law to provide high quality, compassionate, and experienced representation.